Gasoline tax on Yakama Nation generates more controversy

Gasoline taxes on the Yakama Nation in Washington appear to be generating more controversy.

The tribe signed a 1994 agreement to pay the state tax on about 25 percent of fuel sold at Indian-owned stations. But the state says it's owed more than $11 million and that the tribe hasn't submitted audits for 2007 through 2009.

Meanwhile, tribal members are wondering why they are paying the same or nearly the same price for gas as non-Indians. Other than a 5.5-cent tribal tax, they are supposed to get an exemption but that's not always the case.

"They've been taking from the young, the old and the deceased. Blood money -- how can they do that?" Rudy Maldonado told The Yakima Herald-Republic.

Non-Indian retailers are also concerned. They say they are being undercut by Yakama stations by at least 20 cents.

Get the Story:
Prices fuel debate behind tribal gas tax exemption (The Yakima Herald-Republic 6/14)

Related Stories:
Yakama Nation to meet with state over gasoline tax issues (5/20)
KOMO: State won't divulge how tribal gas revenues are spent (5/6)
State claims Yakama Nation owes $11M in unpaid fuel tax (4/20)

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